Marilyn Kalish

fine artist / consultant


"Make   bold   moves   and   powerful   forces   will   come   to   your   aid"




     My intention with this blog is to help anyone who may feel stuck, blocked, or just want to reach higher. I, like my family before me, have been making art full-time all our lives. I am formally trained, however it took quite a while to let that go. Through mentorship I was able to access my own voice and life's experiences. I would like to pass this on. Hard work is essential. Prolific best describes me: I make a lot of work in all mediums, including writing. Thus, a blog. A platform for my visual and writing to converge.
     When I have been invited to speak publicly, I continually find people who say and believe, “I can’t make art,” or, “I am not creative.” These are hard words for me to hear. I listen, and try to connect. I am sincerely interested in people, their stories, their individuality ... and, their creativity ! If i was going to be a mentor i needed to understand the business of art. I enrolled in a business college, while still painting/drawing daily. When I felt confidant regarding the needs of galleries and artists I opened my own gallery - fifteen years ago, The Vault Gallery. I needed to understand both perspectives. Now I work daily in my studio.
     I am privileged to help people who want/need to create.
     Life can get in the way of our dreams sometimes. Raising a family, full times jobs, bills, and rent can discourage. Despite feeling like you have no time, I promise you there is a way to get in touch with your creative side. I am a firm believer that you only need one person who believes in you.  If you need a fire under you, let me spark it for you. I can teach you to carry your own torch.

Believe in yourself

Topics I will be writing about :

Rituals as they apply to momentum.
How to get your heart racing and your pulse pounding
to make you feel alive

The artwork that you consider unsuccessful - is your treasure trove and will inform all future work.
The more you make, the better you get.

I can offer you confidence.

I will not disappoint you.

Warm regards,


Blog Thoughts


Phantom Pain

My Father lost his leg in Normandy during World War II. No one in our family ever talked about his missing limb, though I grew up surrounded by heavy wooden prostheses. Well before the present-day prosthesis (He insisted on keeping the old ones for some reason.) Massive wooden legs stood behind every door in our house, and they were always falling down unexpectedly. We would be eating dinner, perhaps, and one would crash like a giant redwood.

He was awarded the three most prestigious medals, which were kept in the bottom of a drawer. He did not feel a hero – He returned from France, a silent man.

I didn't like crossing the street with my father. He would hold on to me for balance and limp across, never fast enough for my taste. I would watch in a panic as the cars came toward us. We are going to die, I'd think. From the safety of the far curb, my mother would chide him: “Leo, come on. You can walk faster than that.” He married the perfect companion.

My father was a salesman at a men's clothing store and stood all day long at his job. Occasionally, I would glimpse him getting dressed for work, hopping across the bedroom to grab one of the legs leaning against the wall. He would start by putting a special sock over his stump, to make the leg fit better. Those thick, funnel-shaped socks were always drying in the bathroom, hanging in a neat row over the shower rod. I would see them every day as I got ready for school: a row of hand-washed socks with faded brown stains. I saw them so often I barely noticed them.

Years after my father died, I remembered those socks and the red/brown stains. How could I have been so oblivious? The stains were blood, so much that even my mother's constant hand washing could never fully remove it.

For my father.

Marilyn Kalish


Please leave any questions/challenges here - Marilyn will answer all emails.

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Click On Images For More Information


My drawings have always mattered to me. Their simplicity helps me to internally understand what is going on behind the marks, to understand process. And it is the process of making art that fascinates me most. The process begins with recognition, a trust in recognition. I first begin to make marks, varying pressures and tones—just drawing. If then I persevere, I see something personal, a clue, something that I recognize, and something that feels familiar and resonates unlike any other work I have seen before.

I leave the drawing alone. I leave the studio. I come back and spend time with it, getting to know it better. If it still surprises, I then look for more clues. Content begins to make itself known to me. The process becomes a communal experience. The drawing is giving me information: how to proceed and where to go. I am not interested in intellectual concepts. The work has to be experiential. I try to take significant moments in my life and draw them in a believable way. These drawings are pared down, just using mixed media.